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Peter King: 3 reasons to believe in Kyler Murray the NFL quarterback

Heisman Trophy winner quarterback Kyler Murray posses with the Davey O'Brien football award he received in Fort Worth, Texas, Monday, Feb. 18, 2019. Murray accepted the Davey O'Brien award in his first public appearance since the Heisman Trophy winner announced his plan to pursue an NFL career rather than report to spring training as a first-round pick of the Oakland A's. (AP Photo/LM Otero)

NBC’s Peter King spent the NFL Draft Combine walking through the messy smoke surrounding the Arizona Cardinals and their apparent interest in drafting Oklahoma quarterback Kyler Murray.

A number of conclusions came out of it, as King wrote in his Monday column and discussed Tuesday on 98.7 FM Arizona’s Sports Station’s Doug & Wolf.

While many other reporters heard in the rumor mill that Arizona, which owns the No. 1 pick, strongly pushed the possibility of drafting a quarterback for the second time in two years, the truth is the Cardinals likely haven’t said as much.

For one, there is much more time for Arizona to complete a draft board as general manager Steve Keim has said publicly. What’s also making rumors of a decision in early March more unlikely is this: the Cardinals telling teams they would draft Murray, thus putting second-year QB Josh Rosen on the trade block, would tank their current quarterback’s value.

King doesn’t know whether Arizona would draft Murray. He just knows that if the Cardinals like him that much or if they have reservations about Rosen’s upside after one year playing behind the worst offensive line in the NFL, they should pull the trigger.

What King did learn was there are reasons to believe in Murray as a prospect. He gave three good reasons, backed with statistics, to explain why reservations about Murray aren’t warranted.

First, a reminder about the Oklahoma QB’s senior year:

4,361 passing yards
Completion percentage of 69.0
42 passing touchdowns
7 interceptions
1,001 rushing yards
7.2 yards per carry
12 rushing touchdowns

Now, on to King’s knowledge drop with Doug & Wolf:

1. Winning is what he does well

Murray went 42-0 with three state championships as a starting quarterback at Allen High School in Allen, Texas.

“He has always been the shortest quarterback,” King told Doug & Wolf. “The guy is a proven winner.”

2. Murray did fine behind an NFL-sized offensive line

“He played behind an offensive line that was, in order, 6, 6, 7, 7 (and) 7 inches taller than him,” King said. “And he had five passes batted down in his senior year at Oklahoma. The 6-foot-4 kid from Ohio State, Dwayne Haskins, had eight passes batted down.”

3. All that said, he’s a pocket-passer

“The last thing I would say: even though he ran for 1,000 yards at Oklahoma, they were almost exclusively on designed runs,” Kings said. “He threw 89 percent of his passes from the pocket last year. He only threw 41 balls on the run last year.

“I’m only making those points because … he’s not the running quarterback. This is a good pocket passer.”

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